The nation is celebrating the International Literacy Day today to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.
National level programme is being organised here to mark the importance of this occasion.
President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will be the Chief Guest at the function. Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh will preside over the function.
The function will be attended in large number by volunteers and learners of Adult Education Programme, school children, senior officials, diplomats and representatives of international organizations and NGOs.
Several special publication brought out by the National Literacy Mission (NLM) will be presented to the President.
A documentary film on literacy 'The Marquee Effect' will also be screened on this occasion.
It will be followed by the presentation of the awards - NLM-UNESCO award, Satyen Maitra Literacy award and National Photo Competition award.
NLM-UNESCO award was instituted by NLM in collaboration with UNESCO. The award is given to the institutions which have done commendable work in the field of literacy and adult education.
On the basis of the work done in material development, training research and evaluation, vocational training, outreach activities and innovations (practices, materials and training) - Universities, State Resource Centres (SRC) and Jan Shikshan Sansthans (JSS) are given the award.
Since its inception in 1998, including this year's awardees, there are 30 winners of this award. The award carries a cheque for Rs.50,000/- each and a citation.
This year, the recipients of this award are Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Chandigarh, Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Nasik, Maharashtra and State Resource Centre, Deepayatan, Patna, Bihar.
Satyen Maitra Literacy award was instituted in 1996 in the memory of Satyen Maitra, eminent educationist, great adult educationist and a social reformer who had a long association with Bengal Social Service League, a Kolkata-based NGO with enviable reputation.
Satyen Maitra Memorial Literacy award is given to selected districts implementing Total Literacy Campaign, Post Literacy Programme and Continuing Education Programme.
Since its inception, 39 districts have been selected to receive the award, including this year's five awardees.
This year's awardee districts are Dantewada of Chhattisgarh (For Total Literacy Campaign), Lohardaga of Jharkhand (For Post Literacy Programme), Uttara Kannada of Karnataka (For Continuing Education Programme), Kasargod of Kerala (For Continuing Education Programme) and Chittorgarh of Rajasthan (Continuing Education Programme).
An All India National Photo Competition award was organised to sensitize the public about literacy and the programmes run by NLM.
Photographers desiring to participate were asked to send entries related to the following themes - - literacy for women empowerment, literacy and development, literacy through self-help groups, literacy through vocational education, literacy for national integration and literacy for social awareness.
Out of more than three hundred entries, the expert committee of judges recommended five entries for awards.
The awardees are: first prize (Rs.25000), O. P. Soni; second prize, (Rs.20000), Girish J. Kingar; third prize, (Rs.15000), Gopal Thapliyal; consolation prize, (Rs.10000), Kailash Mittal; and consolation prize, (Rs.10000), Manish Chauhan.
Groups of performing artists from Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana will present a mosaic of colourful cultural programme.
Illiteracy first got focused attention in September 1965 during the World Conference of Ministers of Education on the Eradication of Illiteracy at Teheran. Henceforth, every year from 1966, September 8 is being celebrated as International Literacy Day.